European Football Week 2018

Footballers form the Special Olympics Italia team standing in a circle looking down at the camera and the camera shooting the photo looking up; the sky is in the background.

European Football Week #EFW2018

The Beautiful Game

Supported by UEFA Respect, MetLife, national football federations and professional clubs, European Football Week (EFW) is a highlight in the Special Olympics calendar. This year, from 19 to 27 May, 45,000 participants across 50 countries will take part in 450 events.

Playing and Growing Together

Special Olympics European Football Week empowers athletes some with and without intellectual disabilities to Play Unified and show that inclusion through sport is an achievable goal!

The theme of EFW2018 is ‘Playing and Growing Together—Increasing Opportunities for Children and Youth’. Under 12s Unified football will be a key focus as this age-group is the bridge between the Young Athletes Programme and regular Special Olympics Unified Football programming for those aged 12 years and older.


European Football Week video messages

European Football Week 2018 kicks off!

Our Partners

#EqualGame Respect logo in white type on a blue background

UEFA Respect has been our committed and enthusiastic partner for European Football Week for 18 years! Together, we have organised more than 6,000 grassroots football activities with national football federations and clubs. Each of these events has played its part in positively changing attitudes towards players with intellectual disabilities and expanding football opportunities for players with intellectual disabilities.

Learn more about the partnership between Special Olympics and UEFA and about UEFA’s social responsibility activities. for information about UEFA resources please contact Miroslaw Krogulec or Aoife O'Grady.

MetLife in black type on white background with a blue and green abstracted "M" on the left side of the word "MetLife"

This year, MetLife is once again generously supporting EFW! MetLife staff will volunteer at Young Athletes and Unified Football events in 15 countries as part of MetLife Community Service Week. As a result of Metlife’s generous support, the Young Athletes Programme and Unified football will continue to grow and develop in each participating country.

Young and Unified athletes and volunteers in a gymnasium warming up. A young female athlete is in the foreground.
MetLife staff volunteer during activities for children and youth during European Football Week 2017.

Special Olympics European Football Week: A brief history!

EFW began back in 2000 with 15 countries taking part. Although we have now grown to 50 countries, the objective remains the same: players of all the abilities getting the opportunity to take part and demonstrate their skills and talents at grassroots level.

Every year, clubs from European Leagues – from Italian Serie A and Serie B and Polish Ekstraklasa to German Bundesliga clubs – throw their support behind European Football Week. We can’t wait to see who gets involved this year!

European Football female group on the field standing in circle with all of their hands in the the middle one on top of another in celebration.
Special Olympics athletes Play Unified with the Red Devils in Belgium!

Get involved

For more information on Special Olympics EFW contact Miroslaw Krogulec, Director of Sports and Organizational Development, Special Olympics Europe Eurasia.